Vegan Gluten-Free Iron Boost Recipe With Quinoa and Pesto

The World Health Organization declared iron deficiency/anemia the number one medical condition relating to nutrients worldwide.

While omnivorous humans tend to equate meat to iron, a plant-based diet is rich in the mineral.

Variances of the following vegan and gluten-free foods are jam-packed with iron:

  • Beans
  • Soy
  • Leafy greens
  • Seeds
  • Nuts

Good news–they’re all included in this recipe! For any newbs out there, World’s Healthiest Foods offers a more comprehensive list of vegan options that are loaded with iron.

If you’re simply looking for an incredibly delicious and filling meal, this recipe will still be great for you. If you’re a woman with Satan for a uterus constantly battling Old Faithful once a month, then this recipe is an excellent addition to combat period-induced anemia.

A healthy vegan diet shouldn’t be low in iron. In a normal day without iron-packing, I receive three times the daily recommended value (DRV). But with anemia, especially in menstruating women, you have to consume crazy mineral amounts to get back to a normal level. Talk to your doctor for an individualized DRV. Cronometer is a great (and free!) way to help track, but keep in mind that it’s not 100% accurate.

The best part about this recipe is that it can be made to your specifications. Swap out the spinach for kale, the chickpeas for navy beans, the tofu with tempeh, or the homemade cilantro-walnut pesto with basil-almond pesto. You can even substitute the quinoa with rice or gluten-free pasta!

INGREDIENTS:

quinoa, tofu, homemade vegan pesto, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), spinach, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, Bragg’s liquid amino acids*

*optional

DIRECTIONS:

1. TOFU: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a baking sheet; I use coconut oil. Slice tofu block in 1/4″ thick rectangles and slice those pieces in half. They should look about the size of a domino. Baste the tofu with olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly brown, turning at halfway mark. Can be lightly flavored with Bragg’s, too!

2. QUINOA: Cook it. You know how.

3. PESTO: Make it your way.

4. CHICKPEAS: Warm up a can or cook soaked beans as you like.

5. SPINACH: Recommended raw, but can also be sauteed.

6. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and season as needed with additional salt and pepper and garlic.

7. Serve, eat, enjoy!

Recipes like this are great to make in bulk! Store in the fridge and eat cold or reheated.

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